Organ Stop Pizza is Anachronistic Fun

It was after 8:30 on Saturday night. We were hungry and good enough to drive. On a pizza-plus-attraction whim, we went to Organ Stop Pizza.

It was hard to tell what was around Southern and Stapley at 9 o’clock at night. Of course there were strip malls. Were they surrounded by dirt? Tract homes? There was a comforting, ubiquitous Walgreen’s with the Organ Stop sign pointing to the pizza next door.

At 9 on a Saturday night, we had the run of the pizza place. It seemed the patrons that were left were families taking grandparents out for a night, children along for the ride. We ordered up front and walked our water glasses to the great room.

Our host for the evening

Our host for the evening

It was dim with rows of tables like a Viking feast hall. The back wall was lined with windows and instruments, with rows of bellows like batteries in a telephone switch. We asked when the next performance was and it was any minute.

The answer might have well been a black and gold Vincent Price organ spinning up from a basement, because that’s what happened.

Pepperoni and mushroom

Pepperoni and mushroom

A well dressed gentleman played and talked and took requests. Our order number lit up on a keno board and we grabbed our pepperoni and mushroom pizza. It was good – the best of pizza attraction pizza, almost to the point of good local joint pizza.

The mechanical sound and motion were trippy in the empty restaurant. Then the demon cat marionettes were unleashed and we lost it.

The 40 plus year old Organ Stop is from another time. It’s more of an attraction for grandparents than kids, like heading to the Elks Lodge or watching Lawrence Welk. Whatever. We’re suckers for smashing stuff together with pizza, and this was a weird one.

The Simpsons pinball

Simpsons pin

The Rube Goldberg Machine The Size Of Your Bedroom

IMG_20140729_095657_189I have always loved Rube Goldberg-esque machinery, probably something to do with Foghorn Leghorn or Wile E Coyote to be fair. I feel like those guys always had some sort of overcomplicated contraption to get things done. I noticed this HUGE baseball themed one in front of Chase Field this week and watched it do its thing for about five minutes.

IMG_20140729_095728_688

The Ball Triggers ‘The Wave’ Here, Before Flying Into That Super Creepy Face

An intricate set up of moving parts with about 15 balls constantly snaking their way through, they fly off ramps, get caught, a motor driven bat hits them at one point bouncing the balls precisely off of tiny steel platforms and much, much more. There are two step-sequences where the falling ball triggers chimes that play a ghostly, unintentionally haunting segment of Take Me Out To The Ball Game. It wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie where they enter the home a deceased ball player with spooky results.

IMG_20140729_095803_547

That Dude Doesn’t Think I See His Feet. I do. I do.

Titled Based On Balls by ‘kinetic sculptor’ George Rhoads, it stands in a nearly 12 x 12 glass room near the box office and is open to the public. Take a look if you happen to be near 4th Street and Jefferson, its mesmerizing.

New Spot: Super Pizza Bros.

Super Pizza Bros.

Super Pizza Bros.

I see a lot of stuff on my rides through the Big Dirty, and something made me slam on my brakes yesterday morning – Super Pizza Bros. at the southwest corner of 27th and Northern.

A Nintendo-themed pizza joint is hilarious and awesome. There was a stand-up Ms. Pac-Man by the door, but I couldn’t see much else. Expect a review soon.

King Koopa gives it an 'A'

King Koopa gives it an ‘A’

Arm Wrestling for Art Tonight, Poetry Slam All Weekend

DALEK, photo via smoca.org

DALEK, photo via smoca.org

Tonight at SMoCA, have your mousing arm broken for a chance to win an original DALEK at Arm Wrestling for Art. Proceeds go to the Good ‘N Plenty Artist Award, and don’t worry, there will be somebody in shape to teach you how to wrestle properly. 7 pm, $10. Buy tickets online.

We, I, know nothing about poetry. But if the Copper State Poetry Slam, going on all weekend at the Playhouse on the Park, is full of Gil Scott-Heron-like venom, I am down. Saturday, 7 pm to 10 ish, Sunday 6 pm to 8 or 9 ish, $10 – $20.

New Roderick Mack Art and the Summer 2014 Anime Season

beautiful-lie-painful-truth

Roderick Mack, You are a beautiful lie, And I am the painful truth, 2014

You need a bit of Tokyo in your life. Phoenix artist Roderick Mack brings the feeling of the metropolis through canvas portals which explore the dark and abstract with the stylized girls prominent in his work. The illustrative, watercolor style of You are a beautiful lie, And I am the painful truth blends nature and grit like a Shinjuku alley in a forest.

Roderick Mack, Untitled, 2014

Roderick Mack, Untitled, 2014

Untitled layers beauty between colorful chaos and perfect white city lights splatter. Need more Tokyo atmosphere? Perfect timing.

The Summer 2014 anime season kicked off two weeks ago with quality series sans giant robots and high school love stories. Hamatora is one such show where a psuedo detective agency fights mutants in Yokohama. Frequent interstitials of cityscapes and building shots make a character of the city, and dark humor bleeds throughout.

Rail Wars! is another worthy series and it’s over the top, innocent densha fun. Think You’re Under Arrest with trains.

View Roderick Mack’s art on his Facebook page and in Phoenix galleries. The Summer 2014 anime season is simulcasting on Crunchyroll now.